Did you know your smartphone may have a secret FM radio?  Yes, you can listen to some radio programming by streaming using WiFi or your data connection. But if the secret FM chip in your phone is turned on, you can listen to radio programming even if WiFi and cell towers go down, like in the case of a natural disaster.

I’m going to give you a list of supported phones and then show you how to use the app. The app can be found in the Google Play store. Go there or click here to get a link. They also make a version for iPhone, but so far, no iPhones have been activated.  To work with the app, the phone must have the chip and be activated by the manufacturer and your phone carrier. There are dozens of models with working chips in the U.S. Among the popular phones on the list is the Galaxy Note 8, S7 and S8 with AT & T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon, Virgin, and unlocked models, the HTC One through AT&T, Cricket, MetroPCS, Sprint, & T-Mobile.

Click here for the supported phones in the U.S. It’s a long list in alphabetical order by phone model. Check both the phone and the carrier.

Click here for the list of supported phones in Canada. 

 

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If your device is supported, go to the Google Play store and search for Next Radio.

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The app is free and you can download it by tapping Install.

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Then tap open.

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You do need to give it permission to access your location to determine what the radio stations are where you live.

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Once installed, it immediately scans for your local stations.

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You can then pick your favorites to easily find them in the future.

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Then just tap on the station you want to listen to.

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You will need to wear wired headphones or earbuds. They serve as the radio antenna.  If you don’t have headphones, you can also use this app to stream over WiFi or your data connection.

I tried it out and it installed in less than a minute. I was able to pick a station and start listening in just a few seconds.

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This is great for emergencies and also for listening to the radio without using up your data if you’re out on a walk. Give it a try.